February 10, 2022
The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy
Minister of Finance c/o Budget Secretariat
Frost Building North, 3rd Floor
95 Grosvenor Street
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z1
Dear Minister Bethlenfalvy,
RE: Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce & Downtown Oshawa Business Association (DOBA) Consultation Submission
The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and DOBA would like to thank you for the opportunity to participate in the 2022 pre-budget consultation process. Through the combined work of our groups, we represent the interests of the business community in the largest city within Ontario’s third-largest region, The Region of Durham.
Following feedback from our member businesses and further consultation with our government relations committee, we have outlined several investment areas that will help encourage continued economic growth and a return to prosperity for the businesses and people of the Greater Oshawa area.
HOMELESSNESS/OPIOID ADDICTION & POISONING
Along with other large cities such as Hamilton and London, and specifically in its downtown core, Oshawa finds itself disproportionately affected by these widespread social issues negatively intersecting with business.
To help address this issue and its effects on business, the Chamber and DOBA request and would welcome further and continued investment by all levels of government in the critical areas of:
Addressing Root Causes:
- Affordable/accessible housing
- Improved controls on access to prescription and non-prescription opioids
- Improved access to the appropriate treatment of underlying related issues.
- Attraction initiatives, such as further funding for digital wayfinding projects, public Wi-Fi networks, and in-person events.
- Enablement initiatives, such as further and continued investment in resources for businesses to improve their digital presence and discoverability, build/update acumen, offer quality training/job creation.
- Support municipalities in investing in the redevelopment of their downtown cores, to attract/retain consumer traffic.
REGAINING/ACCELERATING OVERALL MOMENTUM IN POST-COVID OSHAWA
Our groups have identified the below areas of investment as high leverage in enabling a quick restart following COVID-related stagnation resultant from quarantine measures:
- Enablement of tech sector: Direct programming support to attract tech sector investment, programming support in Durham for the electric mobility industry, such as jobs development for EV battery development and Project Arrow development.
- Transportation: Timely completion of the longstanding GO extension into Oshawa to enhance commuter access, removal of tolls on roads in Durham to encourage the easy and low-cost movement of goods and services.
- Enablement of post-COVID Tourism: Initiatives that encourage new visits and the staycation market as the world begins to open up.
- Ontario Infrastructure Investment: Enablement and training for trades sector to accelerate work on road, bridge, rail, port, developments.
We thank you for the opportunity to represent the voice and needs of our members and stakeholders and look forward to working with all levels of government to support the growth and success of businesses and organizations of the Greater Oshawa area and beyond.
CEO, Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce
Chair, Downtown Oshawa Business Association